Friday, 30 July 2010

Faith to Live By...

Faith to Live By...

“...The person who has God's approval will live by faith. But if he turns back, I will not be pleased with him.” We don't belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved (Heb 10:38-39 GW).

In Galatians 2:20 Paul the Apostle said, “I live by the faith of the Son of God...” as so we must. It’s worth noting and considering that just as Jesus provided all things for us to overcome He also provided us with HIS OWN FAITH! Now that’s a thought! We have Christ’s faith. No longer do we have to think that we have “little faith” as He often told His disciples. I guess compared to His faith, ours is puny!

“Is not all faith the same?” You may ask, but the answer to that question is simply “No!” Sure every human being has the ability to operate in “natural” faith but not everyone can operate in “supernatural” faith. Take for instance business men or mere sports champions who all realize their goals and achievements via their “natural faith” but obviously not, “by the faith of the Son of God!” Therefore, it can be said without any doubt that both NATURAL and SUPERNATURAL FAITH co-exist. However without Christ we are restricted to operating in “natural” faith alone.

Having separated and defined both types of faith it must be said that a lot has been achieved through “natural” faith alone and those who have dared to operate in this natural faith have been some of the world’s greatest achievers! And still they have not known Christ. So although limited this natural faith evidently packs a punch regardless! When people exercise faith in anything (being totally convinced), then it’s hard to shake them off, discourage them or dampen their spirit!

The significant difference between the two is that “all-things-natural” are also wholly “temporal” and for this reason it would be correct to say, “Futile is every effort that starts and ends in the flesh” because they are entirely restricted to the natural realm. That which is spiritual however can transcend and operate in any realm; giving “all-things-spiritual” a clear advantage over those things that can only operate within the one realm!

To accomplish spiritual goals therefore, such as our chief commission given to us by Christ (see Mark 16: 15-18) simply nothing other than “supernatural faith” will suffice, in fact we need what Paul had, the very “…faith of the Son of God!”

Once again, on several occasions Jesus told certain individuals “Oh ye of little faith…!” (See Mathew 6:30; 8:26; 16:8; Luke 12:28) this was not a mere criticism but an actually “FACT.” Why? Because Jesus Himself knew that our “natural” faith was puny in comparison to His and wholly inadequate in achieving heaven’s mandate! Personally I believe that Jesus was purposefully and continually provoking His disciples to rely on HIS FAITH rather than their own. Once we master this, we too can echo Paul and have “…the God kind of Faith” mentioned in Mark 11:22 and Galatians 2:20!

If there be doubt left about the need to separate faith from “natural” to the “supernatural” 1 Corinthians 2:4 says “...your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Once we achieve this we can truly become the “history makers” of our generation.

Smith Wigglesworth once said, “Only believe! God will not fail you, Beloved. It is impossible for God to fail. Believe Him. Rest in Him, for God's rest is an undisturbed place where heaven bends to meet you. God will fulfil the promises made to you in His word - believe it!”

While looking into the dynamics of faith, we could hardly bypass the subject of “trust.” Faith can’t exist without it, in fact they are synonymous (indelible, intrinsic elements of the same thing!) Which of us can have faith in a God we can’t trust? Even so, there are elements of faith that go way beyond mere “trust” (even if “trust” is part remains at faith’s central core).

In the Old Testament certain scriptures use faith in conjunction with trust; found in such scriptures bearing the Hebrew words châsâh and bât ach; generally taken to mean; have confidence in, trust, make refuge. For example Psalm 36:7 “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God therefore the children of men put their trust [châsâh] under the shadow of thy wings.” Also in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust [bât ach] in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

The entire list of “heroes of faith” found in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews (to whom New Testament believers look for inspiration) were made up of individuals who simply put their TRUST in God! As God “partnered” with them, He added the His “supernatural” element to their trust! All faith is a gift.

However in the New Testament faith is considered both a supernatural “gift” and a “fruit.” Yes anything “given” by God is technically a “gift” but we are talking in context with the supernatural “gift” of faith (an endowment) and then the “fruit” of the spirit (of character) as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9 & Galatians 5:22; the significant between them simply being “power” and “life style!” One works supernaturally, the other is “outworked” in our personality by the Holy Spirit.

In his book, “Faith to Live By” the late Derek Prince wrote, “Fruit then, expresses character. When all nine forms of spiritual fruit are present and fully developed, they represent the totality of Christian character, perfectly rounded off, each form of fruit satisfying a specific need and each complementing the rest. Within this totality, the fruit of faith may be viewed from two aspects, corresponding to two different, but related, uses of the Greek word pistis. The first is trust; the second is trustworthiness.”

There we have it! Trust coupled with supernatural faith vs. trustworthiness coupled with character. I prefer to say that faith is actually “supernatural trust” on a level that the natural is incapable of. And trustworthiness is part of the “divine nature” that must be outworked in our lives; as we naturally incapable of being trustworthy in character without the Holy Spirit!

“Now the just shall live by faith (pistis): but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). This word pistis (pis'-tis) is the Greek word used for FAITH in Hebrews 10:38 and Romans 10:17 – which helps take things to another level!

This is where “faith” goes from being simple “trust” (or confidence) to actually focusing on “getting the job done” or “achieving the goal!” This little Greek word πίστις (pistis) is taken primarily to mean; persuasion, moral conviction (especially reliance upon Christ for salvation); assurance, belief and fidelity. “Without pistis it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Although it did not say “without trust it’s impossible to please God” pistis could literally be translated as the “the ultimate level of TRUST.”

Nevertheless just as rhēma and logos are “partners-inseparable” the same is true of faith and trust; yet whether we discuss supernatural or natural elements of faith and trust our dependability rests on God. Without Him we achieve nothing sustainable. In partnership with Him our lives can be limitless!

Father thank you that I can operate in the very faith of the son of God! You have provided everything to take me over in order to be a winner in this life. Because of Your faith I can operate in a “supernatural” trust and walk with You in such a way that every mandate upon my life can be fulfilled. Amen.

Today I confess that Christ’s faith belongs to me. All things are possible because I live by His faith! I have more than mere assurance; I have His supernatural faith. Therefore I will achieve all that God has ordained for me. I will fulfill His plans and His purposes. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Competitive Gifting vs. Authority & Accountability!

Competitive Gifting vs. Authority & Accountability!

Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses?
Has He not spoken also by us? (Numbers 12: 2)

Being gifted does not make anyone “autonomous” (self-sufficient, self-governing, or independent). In fact our “gift” only operates and functions in its fullest glory when it’s submitted to the correct authorities. There is some confusion at large in the Body of Christ today, over this very issue, because immaturity and misunderstanding says that because a person operates in a genuine “gifting” this automatically gives them authority. Absolutely Not!

It’s a grave mistake when we confuse “Gifting” with “Office.” A “Gift” is not an authority whereas an “Office” is. The Holy Spirit is the giver of the gifts but Jesus Himself is the one who commissions those governing authorities called ‘offices’. An ordinary believer’s authority is one thing – we gain that overnight! But to be a “Governing Authority” in the Body of Christ is something else altogether. Genuine gifts have been lost and spoiled forever because of the lack of adequate understanding in this very area.

If a person begins to operate in a legitimate “gift,” yet after some time refuses to yield that gift or themselves to an established authority structure, their “gifting” becomes distorted and perverted. Warped and void of purity because of its false agenda.

It’s far too easy for a person to become disillusioned when they have no real accountability. Distortion develops with misuse, and lack of submission to God’s governing authorities.

The same person, who is gifted NOW, is not automatically ready to handle authority NOW! “Gifting” never gave any man or woman governing authority. This comes only by divine appointment and divine preparation; being made ready through testing and faithful service!

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, whether they did so openly or privately is not made clear but nonetheless God heard their conversation and was not too happy about it. We must consider the fact that although both Aaron and Miriam were genuinely gifted and positioned, it was Moses who was God’s “governing authority.” Their supernatural “gifting” albeit legitimate did not afford them any room to usurp his “governmental office.” So serious in fact was this offence before God that Miriam became leprous because of it. However both were forgiven and restored, yet it reveals the dangers of usurping God given and appointed authority and illustrates perfectly the difference between gifting and authority.

False prophets don’t always set out that way – rather they “become” erroneous; as would Miriam and Aaron have become if they had continued trying to use their “gifting” to rank themselves above their elder brother [Moses]. No man can assume the kind of authority that Moses had – certainly not on the grounds of gifting – it is God alone who appoints one to such a position and see how God defends it!

We must never forget that none of us can successfully operate outside of God’s authority structure and remain “correct.” To remain true rather than false in our gift capacity, we must continually stay submitted to God-given authority.

Finally with Miriam, Aaron and Moses as our main example in this matter, let us remember them well. The Holy Spirit laid this event out for all to see, forever in Scripture to be remembered and to adequately warn all of us “how-to” and “how- not-to” function with or around authority. Gifting was never meant to “compete” with authority.

As believers authority is something we all have, but not all of us will ever “govern” with it and we must respect those who are genuinely called of God to do so. Without godly government there is chaos. We must protect with prayer and cherish those whom God has given to be in that kind of position. Not wear them down!

Similar to Miriam, those who resist, appose or stand hostile towards God-given authority end up invariably “tormented” - one way or another (sadly I have witnessed this in the lives of others so many times; where simple trust and submission could have avoided so much heartache and needless suffering!) However in contrast, those who treat authority as God intended, benefit from the “quiet and peaceful life” as mentioned in the book of Timothy! “First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way. This is good and pleases God our Savior. He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth” (1 Tim 2:1-4 GW).

Lord I want to operate in a right spirit at all times. I want to function under the unction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to grieve Him by violating your Authority in others. Help me to recognise true Authority and operate towards it as you would desire. I seek not to be self appointed, help me be willing to submit to Your true Authority in others – help me to humble myself as Miriam and Aaron should have done. Let me be someone who is willing to be subject to a higher authority than my own, respecting the position that you have given to others. Amen.

Today I affirm that I will walk without error and I will recognise God given authority. I will submit to God in others and will not think more highly of myself than I ought. I will not cause an offence before God by resisting true authority. Thank you that the gifts in my life are designed to function at their best and fullest capacity when in submission to the correct authorities. Today I will submit myself to God’s plan for my life.


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 23 July 2010

Church Swapping or Church Browsing!

Church Swapping or Church Browsing!

“Godliness with contentment is great gain... let us be content” 1 Tim 6:6-8 (KJV)

Following the theme of “Main Stream Christians verses True Disciples” we now can discuss the matter of Church swapping! It’s a phenomena! People can download church services from all over the globe, and feel a part of any church they want to (the privilege of living in a highly technological era perhaps!) Then again perhaps not! There are obvious advantages to having access to any church you want to (a lot like window shopping or internet browsing) but the significance being that anyone who “browses” does so from a “safe-distance” and if they don’t like something then they can “eject” at will, without being noticed or faulting on any “commitments.” No love is lost; just move on and try the next two or three! It’s uncomplicated and not so messy!

Only difference between this and being part of a “family” is that there is little to “no” interaction that aids the development of valuable people skills. While they might get this on the job at work, it is not the same as interacting with spiritual folk at church; learning to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10 KJV).

On the other hand, there are those who go to church regularly but also jump from church to church on the web. As great a resource as the internet is, this results in folks developing their own “cocktail” of perceived truth and end up confused as a result! They don’t develop relationships with leaders they trust but instead, “they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim 4:3-4 KJV). There now exists many “spiritual know- it-alls” who know nothing! And because everyone wants to be “independent” and “self sufficient” these days, no one can take correction anymore! Instead, without any training, they imagine that they can “correct” their pastor’s latest message, based solely upon what they heard others preaching on the web!

Still this comes with the territory for all preachers these days; who are teaching congregations who are more “well-informed” and “knowledgeable” today than the world has ever known before! (Gen 2:9) As teachers this challenge is good for us, we better know our stuff! People will increase in knowledge, as scripture tells us that folk will “run to and fro” for knowledge and yet learn nothing that sustains them (see Eph 4:14). We have to preach in the face of it all... but the Word of God has the power to “penetrate” anything! (Psalms 119:130)

The trouble with having fingers in every pie, is that it develops people with mixed allegiances and split loyalties. They don’t know where to tithe, so they simply “don’t!” It fact it is becoming increasingly more difficult for people in general to commit to anything. Oh sure they can commit to a “lost-cause” whatever takes their fancy! They can tie themselves to the nearest tree and fight for the whales if they want to! And without being overly pedantic, let me suggest that our society today has become excessively committed to “anything and everything and nothing at all!”

As disciples however we have solid “commitments” and this includes financial commitments also, along with respect for authority. Paul the apostle learnt to “abase or abound” (Philippians 4:12) as also we must. We too can learn to “achieve” no matter what state we are in; whether in times of plenty or of lack. And I am a firm believer that sometimes, “less is defiantly more!” God can sometimes do more with us and through us in those times of lack than at other times. On the other hand, I have noticed with certain individuals during my life time, that the more they have, the worse they get! When they managed better on less, than they did with more and were even nicer individuals!

My point is this. God desires to “grow” us spiritually; to stretch us and make us holy. He will do whatever it takes! Chiefly to achieve this He engages the involvement of others. He knows who and what we need to grow. Spiritual parents and mentors have their part in this; we need their help to progress. Without “submission” (compliance with genuine authority) we inevitably fall into witchcraft. In 1 Samuel 15:23 Samuel told Saul “...rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

Returning to my original point I ask this question, “Is it possible to be adequately “parented” over the internet?” Well anything is possible these days! And with the advent of Skype and other technology, visual communication across the seas occurs just like you are in the same room! And this type of communication with our mentors and spiritual parents is not only possible but also “necessary” in many cases, especially where people must work away from home. However, regardless of location, technology or circumstances we do need to recognise our need for spiritual parents; (too many suffer with an orphan spirit). We need genuine authority in our lives, even in today’s world where less and less people see the need for authority.

However – (naturally speaking) - if authority was removed on a grand scale only “anarchy” would prevail. The same is true spiritually. Therefore our need for genuine authority is paramount. Disciples want this. Converts dispute it!

Jesus showed “high-regard” for the Centurion He met one day, who understood the true authority He saw in Jesus. “The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus hard it, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’ ...Then Jesus said to the centurion. ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’” (Matt 8: 8-13)

With our focus still on disciples, I will say it again, that a disciple is not afraid to commit financially. They are not whim-sickle or confused about where their tithe and offerings should go. Their commitments don’t even change with their location! For instance I have people committed to God and to me from different parts of the world. People who aid my ministry faithfully and “financially” and who feel called by God to do so. They are also my spiritual sons and daughters and God uses them to fill His storehouse, which liberates me to fulfil the mandate given me. Now this takes willing recognition on their part. I don’t need to manipulate them. God speaks to them first. In fact any commitment towards me or my ministry is first born out of a genuine relationship that they have with God themselves.

God holds people to their commitment so that even when challenges exist they don’t run for cover but stay faithful. Disciples like this aren’t afraid of making sacrifices when it really counts and even mature spiritually in the process. In fact they only “gain” along the way, as God uses them He blesses them and their families. I see this firsthand all the time.

Those who are “confused” about their financial commitments need to ask themselves this question; “Where do I take my wages - home or to the next door neighbour?!” If we can be faithful to fulfil our own needs and to fill our own homes with good things, then we must put the house of God “first” so that He can bless ours! (See 1 Kings 6).

Its true that anyone who struggles with “commitment” will defiantly fail to commit financially, even towards God! In fact no matter what they have they will “struggle.” Even with lots of money it only goes through their fingers like water, with little to show for it, which is why they are never satisfied and quickly tire of the “latest thing.” 1Timothy 6: 6-8 says; “Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain”

There are those who “appear” to be committed financially and who like others to know it, but are not actually as committed as they like to make out. Their poor “life style” reveals their true status and they always live “above their means.” They never have enough. God is no man’s debtor. People who give and then murmur are not committed to God but themselves! (The Pharisees did this and received their reward in full!)

In Acts 5:1-5 there is another example of “false-commitment” which was Ananias and his wife Sapphira who brought “death” upon themselves by “mixing lying with their giving!” Yet how many people do that... and still survive!? Then again do they? I would suggest that they also bring “death upon their finances” and no matter how much they own, it is NEVER enough. They struggle regardless... fighting to make ends meet and the more that comes in - only makes it worse!

These same folks inevitably try to blame others; usually their Pastor’s teaching or even try to blame God! But the blame can only rest with them! They are blinded by greed. They lie to God. They lie to the Holy Spirit as did Ananias and Sapphira and finally they lie to themselves (all liars become convinced of their own lies after a while. Then there is no helping them). In fact “disingenuous” people are notorious for “blaming” others or thinking everyone else is like them (with hidden agendas and “calculated-secrets!”)

Finally... none of us can rebuke the devil if we let him in! The devil is a legalist who accuses us before God saying, “See they are not tithing – now let me curse their finances!” The average person is concerned about paying the bills, rent, heating and food bills; while the needs of the church go unnoticed. This should be our “first” concern. If the church in general is blessed then we are all blessed! True disciples are not afraid of their own commitment. They are blessed as a result. They don’t deceive themselves, nor the Holy Spirit, and spiritual maturity is theirs for the taking. Amen!

Father I thank You that as a true disciple I can continue to commit myself to You on a daily basis without any fear. My whole life is committed to You and I know You will hold me to it! Help me never to have calculated secrets against You and help me to dwell in “godliness with contentment” as my great gain! Amen.

Today I walk as a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I am not afraid of commitment nor of true authority in my life. I am not a spiritual “know-it-all” but someone who is “teachable” and able to “comply” with genuine authority (submit!) I don’t have my finger in every pie, but I am growing in spiritual maturity every day. I value this above all else. I am content with what I have; knowing that God fills me to the full and meets my every need. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Main Stream Christians vs. Disciples!

Main Stream Christians vs. Disciples!

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
(Matthew 28:19)

Since before the time of Constantine the world in general has defined and identified believers of the “Way” as “Christians” whereas the Lord identifies true believers as His “disciples.” Usually people, who just want to be considered “Christians” (really just converts) don’t set out to learn much! Disciples on the other hand are “teachable” and different entirely, which means that you can “teach” disciples but have to “preach” at Christians (converts!)

Look at the 12 disciples with Jesus – who were willing to learn the Word of God and then to apply it and how He “taught” His disciples but could only “minister” to the masses. There is a difference! He even spoke differently with the disciples in private once the masses had gone. He unfolded mysteries to them, which he wouldn’t to the masses.

In fact if a church grows it’s generally because it’s full of Christians not necessarily disciples! So what is a disciple? The word “disciple” is mentioned 269 times in the four gospels and the book of Acts alone! A disciple is someone who is willing to go through the process called “sanctification.” Which means that they are willing to be “taught” and then “set apart…” for an entire “life-time” in Christ; not just for occasions or events!

The process of sanctification and grace is mentioned here in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the will of God, our sanctification… that each of you should know how (learn) to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour... for God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. He who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” Just because you are saved does not mean that your mind is controlled by the Holy Spirit. And to “ ...know how or to learn” as mentioned here is important. Once a person gets saved they still have to learn self control; spirit, soul and body with the Help of the Holy Spirit.

In Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Converts are only concerned with being “blessed” and want to remain in control (where disciples “give up” control before they gain it!) As a result main Churches are then forced to provide entertainment with “show after show” to keep the converts entertained and from going somewhere else! They generally look for the church where they can receive what they “want” (blessings) rather than what they “need” (teaching and discipleship!)
Scripture tells us not to forsake the fellowship of the brethren. Therefore spiritual “seclusion” or “superiority” is really “delusion” and the only thing achieved from this is “exclusion!” No one is “above” fellowship! Therefore being a part of the Body means just that; being a “part or a member” of the BODY and not just of oneself! (Most people don’t know where they belong and as a result are easily confused!)

Whereas “sanctification” helps make the disciple “available” to God and literally “sets them apart.” Taking up our cross “daily” refers to a life style of being “set apart” and not just of nurturing our emotions! For any of us who are serious about being disciples, we must “live our entire lives set apart for God” this is called living the “resurrected life!” This Christ made available for us. You can’t live this life without first coming “through” the cross! Anyone trying to minister without having a real “death and resurrection” experience with Christ, will only speak from their own vain imaginations and not from the Holy Spirit. WE MUST BE DISCIPLES IF WE WANT TO BE USED BY GOD.

Disciples don’t sit at home all day reading their bibles either; copping out of “real life” by claiming to be too spiritual to do anything else! There are times for prayer. That must be set aside. And for some this time “set aside” can be a few years. Paul was set aside for 2 years under house arrest, and spent much of it studying and preaching to those who came to him. But prayer in itself never negates responsibility (or reality!) And most importantly we must LIVE OUT our commitment to Christ “publically” and not just declare it “privately!” (Disciples are not spiritual hermits with double lives! Christ did not die publically so that we could be His disciples privately!)

“Consecration;” mere converts do not like to consecrate but a disciple “must.” In fact for the disciple it is a “24-7” walk with the Holy Spirit. In other words, it never stops; there is no day off from being a disciple! Most folks miss it completely because they focus so much on “getting into” the Holy Spirit when we should already be in Him and should never have left Him!!! He should be with us all the time. We don’t have to “come to” or “get into” God when we already have Him! Only religion convinces people that they constantly have to “get to God.” In fact they are always “striving to come to God” instead of “resting in God!” As disciples we are filled with God and must live a life that reveals that fact. For those who limit themselves so much in this way, they must ask themselves a real question, “do I really have the Holy Spirit and does He really have me?”

On the other hand there are those who have the anointing but dangerously underestimate the Holy Spirit. The story of the ten virgins refers to this well; five of whom failed to keep their lamps stocked with oil. What a sober warning for any of us. The Bible foretells a great “falling away” and some predict that as much as 50% of all born again even ‘spirit filled’ believers will be caught amongst them and will ultimately “miss” the Lord’s return. To this I can only add that before we met, my wife and I were sports people in our youth. We both trained seriously for various events and at times competed on national and international levels. This taught us both a valuable lesson firsthand; “it’s not how one starts that matters most, but how one finishes!”

Missing the grace of God like that – provokes holy fear in the heart. There is no room to be filled once then imagine “I’m alright Jack!” In fact scripture makes it quite clear that “even” the elect will be deceived and the love of many will wax cold; therefore being “filled” on occasion is not quite as important as “staying filled daily!” And the purpose of the anointing (oil) is so that we can be “spilled” regularly for the sake of others, just like the alabaster jar was broken to minister to Jesus! Even He needed the oil. But in order to be “spilled” regularly for others, we have to be “filled” regularly and for this we must stay close with the One who can replenish us!

The life of a believer is not just for “themselves.” Self-gratification is the way of the world. Christ “gave” Himself on the cross. Literally “spilled” Himself out like a love offering for us. Now His way must also be our way. And for those who think that we can’t lose our anointing; just refer to Sampson whose “endowment” lifted and left him. “Old Testament!” some will say. Yes! but refer to the virgins in the New. There is a need to be spilled and a need to be filled. And only with the Holy Spirit can we achieve this without falling into deception and missing our Lord altogether.

It must be understood then that “discipleship” is not an automatic thing that happens. In fact it is a result of a deep “relationship!” And for those who want to find out what a person “filled” with the Holy Spirit can get up to, then just read the bible; raising the dead is about the most extreme thing that can happen…! However the power of the Spirit and the Fruits of the Spirit (life style) are two different things. Still however the fruits can be valuable weapons in our arsenal against our adversary. Why? Because in Galatians 5:23 it says of the fruits that “against such there is no law” which means when we operate in such a manner... by allowing the fruits of the Spirit to operate through us, then we effectively put a great “cork-stop” in the mouth of our accuser.

Our life style reveals EVERYTHING, to our enemy and to others. In fact most of the problems we have ever faced have been the result of a lack of lifestyle or character, (whether our own or others!) Consider the fact that “deliverance” is meant for the Church alone and not for the world. Why? because only true believers (disciples) can “sustain” that deliverance and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Finally disciples are accountable – God disciplines (disciples) those He loves and He uses others to do it. We must ask ourselves a question regularly, “Who is God using to disciple me today? To bring correction when I need it most?” When you were a child it wasn’t the next door neighbour who disciplined you, it was your own family. The Body of Christ then is also a family and also has divine authority! We don’t have to skip from church to church or family to family to avoid discipline. If we did this when we were a child, we would be very weird by now! Equally we must not get weird in the Kingdom of God. We must allow true correction to be part of our lives. Without it there is only deception. But we can be certain that God only disciplines with “love and conviction” not with “anger, resentment or condemnation.” (That’s why it’s vital to be around folks who are filled with the Spirit and ordained by this loving God and not just by themselves!) God’s love and blessings involve discipline; and the true disciple accepts this fact with joy!

Father thank You for Your love that saved me in Calvary but also saves me daily from myself! I walk in deliverance, health and resurrection life because of what You did through Christ. Thank You for Your love and mercy. Thank You for the fruits; that if I live by them daily, there can be no accusation against me! Amen.

Today I confess that I am a true disciple. I am not a coward. I accept discipline as part of the life of a disciple. I am meant to be buffeted and changed; even made holy as He is Holy. I affirm that of my own merits I am nothing. But in “Him” I am more than a conqueror. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Python Spirit is sent to Strangle our Success

The Python Spirit is sent to Strangle our Success!

“And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment.” (Acts 16: 18 AMP)

Today we will look at the python spirit specifically found in the King James Version were the righter says, “As we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination [claiming to foretell future events and to discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners much gain by her fortunetelling. She kept following Paul and [the rest of] us, shouting loudly. These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation!” (Acts 16: 16-17 AMP).

In the authorised version of the Bible, this spirit of divination is considered the spirit of python. But when one looks up the literal meaning of the word divination here it actually means ‘gateway or entrance to a city’. Likewise the same is meant to be true of an apostolic church (see Ephesians 3:10) where it serves also as a spiritual “gateway” to a city, for the Word and Power of God to flow in. The python however sets out to “stranglehold” this particular authoritative (apostolic) preaching of the Word, so that demonic (strongholds) can use this spiritual “gateway” instead.

A Python spirit is similar to that of a Jezebel spirit – but more complex. Jezebel was outwardly seductive as well as ultra super-spiritual; remember she was a false prophetess. The Python spirit on the other hand does not operate as much around sex and manipulation as it does around prayer and the suffocating of leaders (especially those with true spiritual authority like those in the apostolic ministry).

Notice that Paul was the overall leader there, but there were other men of God present, she went after “them” by saying, “these men are servants of the most high God,” but it was Paul who got vexed the most by her touting and taunting and it was him who she targeted the most, because he had the most authority there. However although Paul was greatly annoyed, he still took his time, (only Satan is in a rush!) the Holy Spirit is never “anxious” or “worked-up” and will have been waiting for the right moment to cast that spirit out of her! In other words this was not a “flesh reaction” from Paul, rather a spiritual one, and one which successfully brought about her deliverance, to the disdain of her owners!

As our adversary is a “master-strategist” and “legalist” let’s look at the order, pattern and strategy with which this “spirit of python” went to work in Acts chapter 16. For it is a fact that, exactly how it operated back then is just how it will operate today. No change! Our adversary has no new tricks!

First of all, let’s look at the significance of prayer. In verse 16 it says, “…we were on our way to a place of prayer,” this clearly shows that this spirit was very much attracted to “intercession” especially with those who have true weighty “spiritual authority.” It is still true of intercession groups today. The python spirit first tries to infiltrate the prayer group. Once it can effectively influence the prayer warriors or the intercessors – its aim is ultimately to stop their effectiveness and fervency [see James 5:16 “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man makes great power available.”] Usually any person who is being used by a python spirit loves to be in the prayer meeting and loves to appear highly spiritual and knowledgeable. It’s a super spiritual guise!

Secondly let’s mention Mammon as the continuing verses declare that she brought her owners “…much gain.” This spirit’s influences include that of greed, severe selfishness (narcissism) with a sheer love of money (one of their main focuses in life and nauseating to-boot!)

Then there is the flattery and false loyalty seen where it says that she “…kept following Paul” – (people operating with this spirit often “attach” themselves to Leadership, but their allegiance is false). Leaders are singled out and attacked. In fact I would say that this spirit goes “relentlessly” after leadership. In the passing of time these individuals often create a false sense of security around leaders and while giving the impression that they are very loyal they bring leaders into great “distress.” Everything sounds right – they have all the right-words to say, but like someone once said, “…it’s just like trying to wash your feet with your socks on!” Something just isn’t right!

Then there is the loudness aspect to it as seen where it says she, “kept following and shouting loudly.” Those who operate like this lack a great deal of discretion and sensitivity! In fact individuals operating with this spirit are often incapable of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, although they seem very spiritual! They are loud and draw all the attention to themselves and away from what God is really doing. They stir up a false atmosphere and a “forced-sense-of-excitement.”

To follow this they are very tormenting! As seen where it says, “...and she said this for many days.” – It is a tormenting – unrelenting and unyielding spirit... to the point that Paul and the others were “…sorely annoyed and worn out.” This spirit’s attempts are designed to – exhaust - tire out – weaken and drain leadership, especially the man or woman of God at the helm, as with Paul.

Now ask me how I know all this! It was after my wife and I “endured” similar circumstances as these in our own ministry, not just with one incident but several – yet one in particular. From that point on we decided (and it was some time ago now) to make a study of this spirit and its major manifestations. Nothing changes in how it operates, all the “out-workings” are the same even if the host (person used by this spirit) is different! Therefore our study still remains relevant today and this is what we came up with way back then:

We found that if this “spirit” (python) is in operation in any area, then several major things occur: confusion, distraction, diversion, rivalry, competition, gossip, slander and churches just being “incapable” of working together! And yes! All of this can go off in just one city, town or place! In fact if you are a leader and this is going on in your town, then you will find that this spirit will “stir up the people” (sometimes vehemently) against you! Even others in leadership will get stirred against you. Those relationships you thought were your friends and your allies; who you could work together with; will completely fall apart! (Note: to pit leaders against each other is a special trophy for this adversary as it is at authority level, it is most damaging to the city).

To continue; those operating in this python spirit like to demand all the attention; they engage lots of false prophecies (by declaring the opposite of what God is really saying). Therefore divination occurs (see familiar spirits in 1 Sam28.7). This spirit will affect everybody not just leaders, even though it goes mainly for the head honcho! Its influence is felt by everyone, especially if it gains a stronghold in an area. We saw this first hand in a region, it operated amongst the churches so strongly that eventually things just began to fall utterly apart. It did irreparable damage for some, and others are still trying to rebuild their lives. It causes “madness” (making people question their own sanity!) and causes people to “endlessly question” God’s will for their lives (where previously people were generally secure and clear headed!) It is when people feel that they have to constantly second-guess themselves, or justify themselves all the time, that things get very intense! And ultimately severe hopelessness sets in. Many in leadership give up the ministry and simply walk away.

This spirit also causes such “tiredness” a spiritual, extremely strong and overpowering tiredness; because all the mind games drain people of their vital spiritual energy!

Going back to “hopelessness” just briefly, this was one of the major oppressive elements that we discovered in a small town where we used to live. Also this spirit of python was in operation within the whole region making the churches there totally incapable of working together on any real level. And there existed an overriding sense of hopelessness amongst the people we had to minister to. The place offered profound potential. There was apparent wealth and opportunity and yet so many of the folks we ministered to there, were extremely affected by this deep sense of “hopelessness.” On the surface an outsider would not detect it perhaps, but living there for some time, it became so obvious and the average person there was really suffering with it. Hope deferred really does make the heart sick.

What often followed in succession was deep depression and disappointments in people and this provoked much murmuring and gossip. In fact in an area where python has a stronghold, there will be MUCH murmuring, complaining and gossip. It affects everyone underneath it influence, but it is targeted of course especially at leaders. Leaders end up feeling so tied-up that they can’t move freely by the spirit as they want to. There is this overwhelming sense that they better “please” the people so that murmuring stops, but of course it doesn’t! The plan of course is “spiritual suffocation” which involves “emotional blackmailing” to exhaust, drain and zap the energy both mentally and spiritually.

Python will drain leaders as with Paul, by sending people who appear to everyone else to be “supportive” (of all their hard work and efforts) but actually challenge every decision and every move they make; usurping their authority by lifting up their own agenda or the ones who sent them! Then comes the mockery; they try to overpower people by mocking them and showing outward disrespect. Every opinion they have is loud and public. They are extremely VERBAL and designed to be “intimidating.” This makes people take sides with it - in fear of reprisal. No one confronts them.

Those who need all the attention for themselves permanently are probably operating with a python spirit. Now I am not talking about basic immaturity that like centre stage like a child does, but we are talking mainly about those who have influence around ministers and who operate in a premeditated manner especially against authority. (Note: it is a great victory for out adversary to bring leaders down by making the people question their authority.)

Essentially the python spirit takes people’s focus and attention from the Lord and puts it on to other things; just as the slave girl did – who angered Paul so much. They go after the “elect” of God, knowing that even they can be deceived.

Finally a python spirits chiefly wants to rule and posses “cities” not just insignificant slave girls! Verse 20 says, “…OUR city.” Their agenda is the “city” or “region” and not just the random individual. This spiritual strong hold that we are calling the Python spirit today, aims higher than the average person. It wants to infiltrate and exhaust leadership so that it can ultimately “still and hinder” the prayers and “squash” the authority that has the potential to stop it and overcome it!

Father thank you that although there are many spirits; there is only “one” Holy Spirit, who is well able to guide and equip me, so that I am well prepared both in season and out, to walk with you successfully and without hindrance. Thank you that I can walk in a right spirit today and be led of your Holy Spirit, allowing Him to have influence through me, for the rest of my life. Amen.

Today I declare that victory is mine. I am more than a conqueror. No intimidation need affect me. I live secure in the Love of my Saviour and the one who died for me. There are no boundaries to his Love and I rest secure in His mercy. My daily agenda is to follow and obey (Isaiah 1:19).


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Strength of His Love

The Strength of His Love

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:7-10)

The strength of God’s love for us was revealed through the price that He was willing to pay – the very blood of His own son Jesus Christ. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:7-10).

I think it has to be said that the majority of the Body of Christ don’t really understand the profound LOVE of God; the Love that took the “divine initiative” of making “reconciliation” with Him possible. Any love we show Him is just our response to His divine love with which He “first” loved us (John 3:3; 3:16; Romans 3:22-26). He took the “first step” towards us, through the ultimate act of Love, which was to send His one and only begotten to die as the final atonement for our personal sins. In other words, Jesus picked up the cheque and the debt has been cleared…!

The offering up of Himself was the ultimate and perfect of all offerings which satisfied the justice of God. Only on the grounds of that sacrifice can God the Father accept us as His own and judge us INNOCENT for all eternity. Jesus died in our place and without Him we were unrighteous and had no hope of ever being righteous outside of the cross. Our only hope was Christ, and He failed us not; He stepped into our place and suffered the penalty that was due us. Without sin, he suffered the punishment of a sinner – the requirement of the law.

Righteousness took the place of unrighteousness; only through Christ can the unrighteous become righteous. Jesus nailed unrighteousness to the cross, and through Him we can be made righteous before God. We can stand ‘right’ in the sight of God. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…” (1 Peter 3:18) No longer do obstacles stand in the way. After His death on the cross the veil in the temple was torn in two. Any separation that was experienced before the cross is now obliterated through the eternal blood covenant made at Calvary. “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the Old Covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away” (2 Cor. 3:14).

We have ACCESS through the blood, access to the THRONE OF LOVE. Never could we have called God “FATHER” without the blood. Only Jesus made reconciliation possible. In fact, every single time salvation occurs for the “individual,” instantly the veil is taken away! “…WHENEVER anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:16-17).

Only when we TURN [repent] can the veil be taken from us. In God’s sight the washing of the blood has made us CLEAN and now His Spirit has come to live in us and now we can experience true “freedom” by His Spirit. Freedom from the bondage’s of sin and death, freedom to live “in” Christ and “for” Christ, freedom to be a child of God and freedom to worship Him in “…spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

His amazing love has set us free! Through Him, death has been conquered and the victory made secure forever. Jesus completely shared our “humanity.” Temptation was not far from Him, at any time and still He “never” sinned! Even death He tasted, but not for Himself… In fact He had no reason to die - for himself - because he was “without sin…” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The only reason Christ died was for the sake of “humanity,” who were the rightful recipients of the “death penalty”- because of their sins against God. But Jesus changed everything! “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Heb. 2:14-15)

God’s judgement rested upon humanity heavily and could not be averted. Sin had to be punished by death; blood had to be shed, in order to appease the righteousness of God. Jesus satisfied these righteous requirements through dying a ‘sinless’ death. Eternal “separation” was to be the verdict passed against humanity – but Jesus appealed on the grounds of His blood and won the case – which will never be overruled! This means that the fear of death has no more power over us - Hallelujah!

It was Isaiah who prophesied Jesus’ victory over disease and sickness “This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases’” (Matt. 8:17). In Matthew chapter 4 verse 24 it says that Jesus healed all who were brought to him. And during His ministry on earth Jesus demonstrated the Father’s love by healing their infirmities. Love desires that no one, “…should perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The condition of our spirit, soul and body are of importance to God (1 Thess 5:23). Jesus didn’t just take our sin to the cross but also our infirmities and diseases; “…by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)

John 4:34 says that Jesus came to do the will of the Father “…to do the will of Him who sent me…” It is the Father’s will that we be saved, healed and receive every spiritual blessing (see Eph 1:3-14). And Jesus did all that was necessary to see that this was fulfilled, “…and to finish His work.” That’s why Jesus could declare from the cross before he died, “It is FINISHED….” (John 19:30). And that’s why today, those of us who are “in” Christ can rest secure that “spirit, soul & body,” the work of the cross, is “complete!”

Father thank you for the “completion” of the cross; that I can totally be secure in the fact that what You set out to do “through” Christ, on my behalf, has been totally and successfully accomplished. I can wake everyday knowing that eternity belongs to me because of the finished work of the cross. Thank You for the strength of Your unfailing love. Amen.

Today I declare my allegiance to a loving God; the one who can “never” fail. Someone who can “never” fail - only succeeds! God is my victory and through Him alone can I have true success. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Saturday, 10 July 2010

We need Never be Denied

We need Never be Denied

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
(Hebrews 7:25 KJV)

According to Hebrews 7:25 Jesus is our faithful High Priest, who “…ever lives to make intercession for us,” and because of this we will never be denied when we enter into God’s presence bearing His name! This free passage and unlimited access to God’s throne was granted us through the work of the cross, but is based on the condition that we remain “in” Him.
Jesus underwent such terrible suffering for a “special” purpose and that was to make us holy, as He is holy. A sheer impossibility without the “spilling” of the cross (1 Peter 1:16) “…Jesus…suffered…to make the people holy through his own blood” (Heb 13:12). Because God is the same yesterday today and forever, and there is no shadow of turning with Him, He is “unable” to change. His love remains constant throughout the generations. Most importantly because we saw how Jesus remained utterly faithful to His Father’s will, throughout every trial and temptation – it is by this we know that without fail or compromise Jesus will remain faithful to us. His faithfulness that has been tried, tested and proven! Making His love for us unfailing, unadulterated and unconditional!

Divine LOVE is never based on anything we are but on who He is; 1 John 4:7-21 says, “God is Love…” and 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that “…Love never fails.” God’s love for us is unaffected by anything we have done or accomplished in our lifetime. Rather it is affected only by what Jesus has done. “I think that if there could be one sight more wonderful than the love of Christ,” says Spurgeon, “it would be the blood of Christ...” and continued, “much we talk of Jesus’ blood, but how little’s understood!”

He further addressed the blood by saying, “I do not know of anything more divine. It seems to me as if all the eternal purposes worked up to the blood of the Cross, and then worked from the blood of the cross towards the sublime consummation of all things. Oh, to think that He should become man! God has made spirit, pure spirit, embodied spirit; and then materialism; and somehow, as if He would take all up into one, the Godhead links Himself with the material. He then wears dust about Him even as we wear it; and taking it all up, He then goes, and in that fashion, redeems His people from all the evil of their soul, their spirit, and their body, by the pouring out of a life, which while it was human, was so in connection with the divine, that we speak correctly of ‘the blood of God.’”

When we turn to the twentieth chapter of the book of Acts we find that Paul put it like this, “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” As a result whenever we hear God addressed as the, “God who loved and died,” it could be said that this is an “incorrect accuracy” or like Spurgeon classically coined it, “a strictly absolute accuracy of incorrectness!”Always the case whenever the “finite” tries to talk of the “infinite.” When “earthy” try to describe the “heavenly!” Such as the only sacrifice that could every obliterate, annihilate, and extinguish sin or any trace of it! “He hath finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness.”

When we get to heaven, perhaps only then shall we understand in its entirety just what the blood truly meant. When we see the One who love’s us and washed us from our sins in his own blood! May the Holy Spirit show us Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha! And show us what our Lord is doing in this precise moment! So that in those times of complete depression we will know that He is standing and pleading for us!

In the moment that a family member is ill; (children or spouse) and no food is in the cupboards; the pressure is all around but we are able to “see” Christ standing there, dressed in His glory; knowing our name and pleading for us, we could turn to our families and to the circumstances and holler, “He is praying for us, it’s all going to be okay!” The sight of Christ praying, pleading and interceding brings courage to swell in the heart – the Holy Spirit must be allowed to show us a pleading Christ!

Nevertheless although He is “pleading” He is still “reigning” at the right hand side of God, where the Father has put “all” things under His feet. No fear exists for those who believe His great declaration, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Most precious of all may the Holy Spirit grant us a clear view of His return. Jesus is “coming,” our most brilliant hope! Yet although our adversary behaves even bolder and passionate faith seems almost extinct, these are just “tokens” of His “coming.” Even Jesus said that He would not return unless first there was a “falling-away.”

So despite the consequences of the growing darkness, we must remind ourselves that on the lake of Galilee Jesus came in the thick of night when the storm was at its worst to be with His disciples. And just as the storm fled so will the enemies of His Word, name and blood, flee from the face of His “injured love!” As for us, we will stand victorious with the infinite mercy of our loving saviour; seeing with the “natural eye” what the Holy Spirit has been showing us all along!

So it is with divine purpose that the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us. Just as with Jacob who laid himself down to sleep and the Lord began to speak with him, “The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it.” We need to ask ourselves this question: “can I sleep on the “promise” of God? Can I relax and trust what He is saying to me without trying to work it out for myself? If yes, the same promise we “sleep- on” is ours! Because being able to “rest” in what God shows us is vitally important and effects whether we become recipients or just observers!

Consider Abraham, who also heard God say, “look from the place where thou are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land, which thou seest, to thee will I give it.” Effectively God was saying to Abraham, “What you are ‘able’ to ‘see’ by faith, I am ‘able’ give you!” Consequently our ability to “see” is also crucial to our “receiving.” Without faith we cannot “see” what God sees. Natural sight limits our scope and hope for the future to “all-things-temporal.” Faith which sees what the natural eye cant, engages with God in a way “flesh” cant. We must live by faith and not by (natural) sight.

For instance whenever we discovered that we are in a difficult circumstance, it took “seeing” our way out – before it actually happened! We “saw” our deliverance before deliverance showed up, which is faith. Just like the joy that was set “before” Jesus so that He could endure the cross. He “saw” victory before there was victory!

In life we set goals for ourselves, like losing weight or climbing a mountain! We have to see the top, the finish line or even the new thinner self – to keep the incentive alive! But it is still “faith” that achieves this! Without “seeing” the result and keeping it in our “minds-eye” so to speak – then we don’t stay fixed on the goal and therefore never overcome. However the moral of the story is... that in Christ we were born to overcome and what we “see” by faith we can have!

Precisely the reason why God showed both Abraham and Jacob exactly what He wanted them to possess! (God does not show us anything He does not want us to own - what’s the point?!) On the other hand our adversary torments us “all” the time by showing us what we don’t want to have. Its like faith in reverse! But is called fear.

With God He only ever shows us what He wants us to have, therefore if we see what He sees, we can have it! Faith always sees what happens before it happens, so that we can align with it. Living in “agreement” with the vision is the purpose of foreseeing it; where as “di-vision” is living in “diss-agreement” with the vision, resisting it and making it unproductive. In other words nothing happens that should happen because faith has been denied. In fact scripture tells us that the “just shall live by faith” because without it we can’t live “for” God or “with” God. He is a faith God; only faith pleases Him because without it we will fail.

Finally, in order for us to be productive (fruit bearing not barren) we must be able to “see” daily what God is showing us, because this is what He wants us to have! We must always permit His Spirit to increase our vision (spiritual sight) so that we can enjoy all that has been prepared for us in Christ!

Father thank you that although I was blind now I SEE! Thank you for giving me ears to hear and eyes to see. That whenever You communication with me, I don’t fail to understand. Help me by your Spirit to grow in this every day. So that daily I am being trained and “sensitized” to respond correctly to Your voice. I want to be ready in season and out, so that I can possess whatever you want me to have – by faith! Amen.

Father today I confess that when I hear and when I see what You are showing me, I will respond by faith. I will lean on the supernatural before it gives way to the natural, not vice-versa! I will trust in You and as You did set “joy” before Christ; then no matter what daily challenges I face, I know that You have given me the power to endure and to OVERCOME till the victory manifests. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Let’s make the Transition into the 21st Century

Let’s make the Transition into the 21st Century

“I'm going to send you food from heaven like rain. Each day the people should go out and gather only what they need for that day. In this way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. ...” (Ex 16:4-5 GW)

Throughout church history there have been certain pioneers who have helped mark their generation for the Lord; leaving a legacy for others to follow. Commendable - but not many of those same pioneers were able to “transition” from one move of God to the next. The transition can be crucial and just as important as the pioneering efforts to begin with.

It is not my intention here to try and cover church history in this one short blog, but I do however encourage you to go look for yourself and see what notable figures you can find of recent and not-so-recent within church history, who “moved-on” when the Spirit of God began to blow a new wind of Devin direction, and made the transition into the “new move of God.” You will find those who made the transition and those who got “lost” because somehow the past had become their logos!

It is wonderful to be used of God, in any generation. But we must not get stuck. So that when God wants to do a new thing, we are not stubbornly “attached” to what He did in the past. Not many have been able to “move on” throughout church history, and notoriously prefer to stay with the “familiar.” Consider the Israelites who were thinking of something as small-minded as “onions and garlic” when they were in the wilderness! Especially after experiencing all the adventure and enormity of God’s deliverance, with the years of torment and suffering still fresh in their minds. Nonetheless they soon began to “pine” for the familiar. Listen to their murmuring and contempt, “If only we had meat to eat! Remember all the free fish we ate in Egypt and the cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions, and garlic we had? But now we've lost our appetite! Everywhere we look there's nothing but manna!” (Num 11:4-6 GW).

Sadly this is a common human weakness; that we begin to crave the very thing that we were set free of! We become so familiar with the “bondage” that had us captive for so long, that we actually prefer it; a re-occurrence for us all; especially if we stay in the wilderness.

It is true to say that not many people are able to “experience” God in their generation; (pioneer, be in the “forefront”) and then move on with Him and keep the impact on the next generation alive! Instead they get stuck in the “last” move... and don’t know how to “stay” with what God is doing today. We can call this the “now move of God” (which is relevant to any current generation...) Most folks can only relate to their “own” experiences – so when something new happens – they can’t flow with it. They miss it... lots of folks - even well intentioned folks “miss” God. (It’s easy to be “sincere” but “sincerely-wrong” at the same time!)

By way of a short example I want to make mention of a few names that we are all so familiar with, those of recent church history; pioneers such as Leister Sumrall, Morris Cerullo and Oral Roberts... (of course the list could go on...) Leister for instance had the likes of Howard Carter and Smith Wigglesworth as his mentors and received their “anointing” for his generation. He was ordained way back in 1932 and was considered the "father" of Christian Television because he helped “secure” the “first” license for 24 hour Christian television; amongst many other achievements.

But with all of his accolades Leister was one of those men (of his calibre) who did not get stuck in yesteryear... he moved on... and was one of the few who was able to do so... Right up until the end, he kept “current” with his finger on the pulse of what God was doing and saying in the “now” (remember Hebrews 11:1 calls it “now-faith!”) There is no retirement for genuine men and woman of God! They walk with God like Enoch did and then they are not...! They are too “black n white” to enjoy the “grey!” (see Gen 5:24).

Leister kept hearing God, keeping relevant to the day that he was “in” rather than aligning himself with the “experiences” of the past (regardless of how successful they might have been) he kept himself aligned to God. In fact the more successful a move may have been, can prevent folks from moving on to the next wave... somehow they imagine that God could only be successful in “their” generation – no matter how long ago that was – and don’t ever move on because of that premise...

To qualify this, let me say that there is always a balance to everything... we are not talking about being “politically correct” or “relevant” in that context but in regards to what “God is doing and saying today.”

Dr. Sumrall was a good example for us to follow; not to get stuck in yesterday... but stay hooked up with what God is saying and doing today. If that means moving on from what we have known all our lives... moving away from the familiar - then yes... we must move on and not miss God. We must not get stuck in a generational or denominational rut!

If we refuse to move on with God, then what might have been “successful” in the past has now become a “deception” especially if it prevents us from hearing and moving on with God today. Reading books and studying “history” can be of great value and is great in its place. BUT... if we are so caught up in the past, that we fail to hear God for today, then we been caught in deception. It takes a very “brave” man or woman – to move on with God. Especially if they helped pioneer the old!

Of course when we talk about “what God is saying today” this does not in any way change His “Logos-Word” (written)... of course this always remains the same “yesterday, today and forever.” However His “Rhema-Word” - that which he “speaks” today - is fresh and is NOW manna. It never contradicts His written Word. But it is for today. Otherwise we would all still be wearing sackcloth and ashes!!!

Let’s make sure that we move with the tide; God’s tide. Not with the “popular opinion” or “political correctness” of our day; but with God. What is He saying right now? What is on His heart for our world right now? If we know more about previous centuries and what God said to them, than we do today, then we have “missed” God for today.

Let’s not make that same mistake that so many others have made and MOVE ON “with” God into the 21st Century. Nothing is holding us back. We must make the “transition” which is only possible when we hear God’s voice. “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine... they shall hear my voice...” (John 10:14-16 KJV).

Father thank you that I have ears to hear. I am meant to hear your voice on a regular basis. To have that “living-connection” with You. I am not meant to “guess” my way through life, but to “know” my way through life! Thank you that you have made the “knowledge” of Your perfect will accessible to me today. Help me to be attentive to your voice. I believe that you have set me up for “success” and not for failure. Amen.

Today I can and I will hear God’s voice. He has promised me that! I am not dull of hearing and I am not spiritually numb. Jesus is my Sheppard and I hear His voice. I will not only “hear” but also “obey” and therefore will have good success. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Leadership Seduction Series

Humanism vs. the Spirit of God
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy in this book: If anyone adds anything to this, God will strike him... If anyone takes away any words from this book of prophecy, God will take away his portion of the tree of life...” (Rev 22:18-19 GW)

This is the last in a series all about “leadership seduction” and we know from the feedback that we have been receiving, almost every single day, from readers around the world, that these topics are certainly being enjoyed by many of you (to read some of these fresh testimonies, please visit the new website!)
Admittedly this recent focus on “leadership seduction” may seem slightly negative, but a subject that must be addressed nonetheless and always better tackled than left. After all, a lot of us have encountered these types of people who either don’t want to change or are completely ignorant that anything is wrong (ignorance is always arrogant!) Nevertheless we still have the option of heaping up “many” teachers to tickle our ears as scripture puts it, with “tastefully designed and politically correct teachings” that only address what we want to hear. Yet avoiding all things negative is not wise and keeps us shallow and uninformed. Awareness (not conspiracy theory) prevents spiritual threats, which arrive on the door step of every church group or ministry. No one is immune; ask me how I know!!!

So to continue, yes these bogus leaders (without qualification or recognition) hate to be challenged; yet challenge is precisely what reveals their false anointing! (They are easily threatened!) True anointing attracts “trouble,” it comes with the territory! But these individuals have a hatred for all things “challenge” or “change!” but its what reveals insecurity and weakness, like nothing else!

I believe and always have, that the Holy Spirit uses “change” a lot in order to teach us and sometimes it may even seem that the only “constant” in life is “change!” But it is this that keeps us fresh and unstuck! (Change is not synonymous with crisis as some folks treat it! And it helps to keep in mind the following: behaviour in the first moments of a crisis reveals who and what we truly believe!)
Character assassination is another trait: many of us have had our integrity questioned and it’s never pleasant! Generally it doesn’t stop with us either but also affects our families, our marriages and every area possible... (especially if we are leaders!) However it is the accuser of the brethren who does this. [But there is balance to everything and leaders must not use this as a clock to cover everything by saying, “…don’t question me about anything...!” No! We must remain accountable; to our flock, to each other and to the Word.]

Bogus leaders never enhance unity and leave a trail of “separation” and “disunity” in their wake: of marriages, associates, and friends; even longstanding relationships, all left in tatters (see Proverbs 16:28). They don’t “co-habit” and when they have the opportunity they specialize in “rescuing and then despising!”

Falsehood: (2 Cor 11:4/26) the Bible speaks of many falsehoods such as false brethren; false apostles, false spirits, false doctrines and false prophets, to name a few! The point is this: there is a counterfeit to anything that has an “original!” For example we never get to see counterfeit “$30 dollar bills” or “£9 pound notes,” simply because there was never an original!!

“False brethren” for instance are those who consistently find something to make an accusation about. They are not unlike “false witnesses” except they shout about stuff they do witness but don’t like! And there’s nothing much they do like! The “humanism” that steers them is not of the Spirit of God and they have the uncanny ability to totally “misread” everything! They easily make a controversy over anything and seek to correct their leaders by saying, “We don’t want to undermine you, BUT…” Usually these same people have such “delicate” consciences (no faith) that they use this to manipulate their leaders to pass everything by them first; to the effect that nothing happens without “their” approval!

What all these people their main struggle is with – humanism – and more often than not they exalt “psychology” (lit. “science of the mind”) over the very Word of God. In fact false leaders love to quote more from their psychology books than from scripture; yet quote just enough scripture to keep it convincing! They offer a complete mix. Mixing the “Word” with anything is dangerous, because it must be kept pure, unadulterated and defined as the true Word of God.

Even though psychology has its place, though limited, it certainly must not be “mixed” with the Word of God; especially where people don’t know the difference! (To qualify this let me say the following: If people insist on using psychology... they must “define” it as such and not mix it with - add it to - or - mistake it for - the Word of God, because pretty soon people in general won’t be able to recognise the difference. Besides - psychology only applies to the “fallen mind” not to the “renewed mind.” Those born of the Spirit know their mind is “being” renewed by the Word of God daily. Psychology only studies the mind “in its fallen-state” but it cannot renew anything! Humanistic reasoning’s must not be added to God’s Word. See Revelation 22:18)

Clearly not everyone who claims to be genuine and led by the Spirit is what they say they are... However scripture gives us one main source of evidence to prove or disprove the genuine from the bogus; chiefly “FRUIT.” Its presence or absence speaks volumes. If any of us truly walk by His Spirit, there will always be evidence to prove it! There is always evidence to the life of the Spirit (tongues is evidence of the baptism, fruit is the evidence of the spirit led life). Whether it is fruit of character or of ministry, there is always fruit where the Holy Spirit resides.

Finally, even though we have looked into the behaviour of the false and bogus - none of this is “personal” or aimed at “flesh and blood,” rather spiritual forces that are opposed, hostile or anti-Christ (anti-anointing, anti-truth, anti-righteousness!) The anointing breaks every yolk of bondage (which takes genuine authority!) Remember that where the counterfeit can only “question” Christ, the true anointing “reveals” Him.

PRAYER FOR THE DAYFather I am grateful for Your ability to keep me alert. For the devil prowls about like a roaring lion waiting to see who he can pick off. I want to be aware not naive and I want to be full of Your anointing and Your Word. Your truth keeps me free and is greater than every other truth; sharper than any two edged sword. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAYToday I have the ability to stand firm in my faith. I am justified by faith and live by faith. My mind is being renewed by the Word of God only and not humanism. I have the mind of Christ. I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love and a SOUND MIND - Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries